Friday, December 14, 2012

Before there were lockouts and strikes: Lyman Bostock

'76 topps #263

Lyman's is a tragic story of what could have been.  Lyman was murdered by a jealous husband in the back seat of his uncle's car just hours after a game in Chicago against the White Sox.  The woman he was sitting in the back seat with he had known for all of 20 minutes.  Lyman was only 28 years old at the time, and had the better part of his career ahead of him. 

After 3 solid seasons with the Twins, Bostock signed as a free agent with the California Angels in 1978.  In what is a legendary story about him, in April of '78 after hitting a paltry .150, Bostock went to Angels owner Gene Autry and offered to return his salary.  Autry declined, and Bostock wound up donating that months salary to charity, feeling that his poor play didn't merit him his salary.

Scary stat:  You can't tell me that winning doesn't influence the MVP vote.  Let's compare Bostock's 1977 numbers to that of Mickey Rivers. 

Bostock:  .336 avg, 199 hits, 14 HR, 90 RBI, 16 steals---  played for Minnesota (84-77)
Rivers:     .326 avg., 184 hits, 12 HR, 69 RBI, 22 steals--- played for New York Yankees (100-62)

Rivers receives 59 vote points for MVP, Bostock receives 2 vote points for MVP. 

This argument gets shot down though, because the 1977 MVP was Rod Carew, who played for the Twins, and led the AL in batting (.388) and hits (239).

Before there were lockouts and strikes, there was Lyman Bostock

Thanks for reading, Robert


  1. I remember his shooting. I was just barely 16, and had gone camping. When we arrived home, my mom asked if I had heard the news... I was sad, he was one of my favorites. I can still remember when they signed him and I was thinking that Bobby Bonds and Lyman Bostock in same lineup was going to be awesome! But then they traded Bonds away, so never got to see that.

  2. Great writing, tragic story. I had never heard of Bostock before, but I have to admire somebody who has the integrity to acknowledge that they've underperformed and try to return their salary. What could have been...